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On Books

Do you keep track of what you read? I strongly recommend it, because then you can go back and think, oh yes, I read that on the plane to Vegas or on the beach in Corolla or on the beach in France or while I was in California when my grandmother died or while I was hugely pregnant with my first child. You can also squander an entire naptime on an incredible amount of typing and post the list on your blog for no reason in particular. And so, here are the 300 books I have read since 1/1/01. Just ignore the typos (and the places where I couldn't read my own handwriting).

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Pleasing Hour by Lily King
Where You Once Belonged by Kent Haruf
Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card
Shopgirl by Steve Martin
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
A Single Pebble by John Hersey
No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien by Oscar Hijuelos
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
Colors of the Mountain by Da Chen
Cause Celeb by Helen Fielding
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin
Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald
Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
Lamb by Bernard MacLaverty
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Back When We Were Grownups by Anita Diamant
Esparanza's Box of Saints by Maria Amparo Escandon
Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje
How to be Good by Nick Hornby
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Open House by Elizabeth Berg
Fleur de Leigh's Life of Crime by Diane Leslie
Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
The Bridegroom by Ha Jin
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve
While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
Insomnia by Stephen King
Call me Crazy by Anne Heche
Isle of Dogs by Patricia Cornwell
The Gryphon by Nick Bantock
The Last Life by Claire Messud
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernieres
Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
Famous After Death by Benjamin Cheever
The Tale of the Unknown Island by Jose Saramago
Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut
Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
Hippolyte's Island by Barbara Hodgson
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
When I was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten
Timbuktu by Paul Auster
Veronica by Nicholas Christopher
What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
A Stranger in the Earth by Marcel Theroux
Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
The 25th Hour by David Benioff
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Hook Man Speaks by Matt Clark
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card
Leviathan by Paul Auster
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
The Missing World by Margot Livesey
Everybody Smokes in Hell by John Ridley
The Day I Turned Uncool - Confessions of a Reluctant Grownup by Dan Zevin
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
The Obituary Writer by Porter Shreve
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides
The Magican's Assistant by Ann Patchett
Fletch Won by Gregory McDonald
Whack by James Bradley
Fletch and the Widow Bradley by Gregory McDonald
Alexandria by Nick Bantock
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton
Barrel Fever by David Sedaris
The Muse Asylum by David Czuchlewski
Island by Jane Rogers
Paris Trance by Geoff Dyer
Damascus by Richard Beard
The Secret Life of the Seine by Mort Rosenblum
A Corner of the Veil by Laurence Cosse
The Passion of Artemesia by Susan Vreeland
Messiah by Andrei Codrescu
Paris Out of Hand (A Wayward Guide) by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
The Odd Todd Handbook: Hard Times, Soft Couch by Odd Todd
The Ash Garden by Dennis Bock
French Toast by Harriet Welty Rochefort
The Torn Shirt by Rebecca Godfrey
Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
After the Quake by Haruki Murakami
The Frog King by Adam Davies
Mr. Posterior and the Genius Child by Emily Jenkins
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
Callie's Tally by Betsy Howie
The Collected Traveler Paris by Barrie Kerper
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Is Paris Burning? by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell
The Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel
Matchstick Men by Eric Garcia
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
The Hunters by Claire Messud
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire
The Morning Star by Nick Bantock
The Reader by Bernard Schlink
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
The Music Room by Dennis McFarland
Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
Death of a Revolutionary by Richard L. Harris
Use Me by Elissa Schappell
Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It by Geoff Dyer
A Box of Matches by Nicholson Baker
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Ahab's Wife or, the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund
Song of Susannah by Stephen King
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
Man Walks into a Room by Nicole Krauss
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Interperter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Driving over Lemons by Chris Stewart
Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker
Love Me by Garrison Keillor
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
Trace by Patricia Cornwell
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
The Dark Tower by Stephen King
The Pleasure of my Company by Steve Martin
Eventide by Kent Haruf
Politics by Adam Thirlwell
Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell
The Tiger Claw by Shauna Singh Baldwin
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
The Good People of New York by Thisbe Nissen
Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown
The King of Torts by John Grisham
Fidelity by Michael Redhill
Molvania by Cilauro, Gleisner & Sitch
The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
Donorboy by Brendan Halpin
How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers
The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn
A Thing or Two about Curtis and Camilla by Nick Fowler
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
You Are Here by Wesley Gibson
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
Home Land by Sam Lipsyte
Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
Stiff by Mary Roach
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Planet Parenthood by Julie Tilsner
Waiting for Birdy by Cathering Newman
Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood
Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
Plan B by Jonathan Tropper
The Last Juror by John Grisham
Mother Shock by Andrea J. Buchanan
So That's What They're For by Janet Tamaro
The Poo Bomb by Jeff Vogel
Assasination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
One for my Baby by Tony Parsons
Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper
A Certain Chemistry by Mil Millington
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
The Rule of Four by Caldwell & Thomason
Just Friends by Robyn Sisman
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The Regulators by Richard Bachman
Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman
Miss Wyoming by Douglas Coupland
The Task of this Translator by Todd Hasak-Lowy
The World According the Mimi Smartypants by Mimi Smartypants
Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs
Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them by Al Franken
Things my Girlfriend and I have Argued About by Mil Millington
Predator by Patricia Cornwell
Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
The Truth, with Jokes by Al Franken
Off Ramp by Hank Stuever
The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Eats Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
Cell by Stephen King
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Thirtynothing by Lisa Jewell
The Grizzly Maze by Nick Jans
Love and other Near-Death Experiences by Mil Millington
The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank
The Ha-Ha by Dave King
Bad Twin by Gary Thorp
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Utterly Monkey by Nick Laird
Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Eating Crow by Jay Rayner
Hey Nostradamus by Douglas Coupland
On Writing by Stephen King
Lisey's Story by Stephen King
The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Goodbye Lemon by Adam Davies
The Everlasting Story of Nory by Nicholson Baker
Little America by Henry Bromell
Citizen Vince by Jess Watler
Chuck Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
At Risk by Patricia Cornwell
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
Theft by Peter Carey
Know it All by A. J. Jacobs
This Book will Save your Life by A. M. Homes
Flight by Sherman Alexie
Midnight Cab by James W. Nichol
The Gunseller by Hugh Laurie
How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Radiant Days by Michael A. Fitzgerald
Attention. Deficit. Disorder. by Brad Listi
The Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
I Just Want my Pants Back by David J. Rosen
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
A Long Stay in a Distant Land by Chieh Chieng
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
Strapless by Deborah Davis
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Grab onto me Tightly as if I Knew the Way by Bryan Charles
Strange Skies by Matt Marinovich
The Keep by Jennifer Egan
Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
Last One In by Nicholas Kulish
Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
After Dark by Haruki Murakami
The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland
The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen
Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland
The Light of Day by Graham Swift
Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters
The Epicure's Lament by Kate Christensen
Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell
Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
Gold by Dan Rhodes
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert
What is the What by Dave Eggers
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan
Three Dollars by Elliot Perlman
Duma Key by Stephen King
The Lost Legends of New Jersey by Frederick Reiken
1 Dead in Attic by Chris Rose

Comments (35)

I am #1! WOW!!!! Good for you. I do keep track of what I read. But I haven't read as much as you!!

I just started doing this as of 1/1/08! I am very interested to see how many books I read in a year, so I bought a little journal to keep track in. I am finding, so far, that I go through periods when I can't fit enough books into a week and other periods when I would rather do Sudoku and surf the Net and knit instead of read. But I can't wait to see what my grand total is at the end of the year!

Top picks? Our absolute favorite?

I have read 18 of these books, and own another 13 that have yet to be read, and 1 that is in progress. But now I know... The next time I need a book? I'm coming to your place instead of the Barnes & Noble!

I always meant to but never did until I joined, which I totally love. I have 370 books listed that I've read and 670 more on my wish list, plus a whole community of fellow book-lovers to commune with.

I'm always looking for a good book or recommendations. I plan to keep this page bookmarked for future use.
I wish I would have kept a list. Maybe I should start.

I'm with She Likes Purple -- which ones did you like the most? Which ones would you most recommend? One year -- 2003, I think -- I read a disgusting amount of books and documented it all a journal...that I have probably lost by now. It's fun! I'm trying to use Goodreads to keep up with myself but I'm failing. heh

I used to, but then I had kids and forgot to write things down. And brush my teeth. And feed myself. You know.

Which ones would you most highly recommend?

I keep track on my website (, it goes back to 2004. I know I'm missing some books from the lists. I wasn't very good about keeping track in the beginning. I also use Good Reads because I'm anal like that.

My goal is to have the lists span my lifetime, a la Art Ganfunkel ( Seeing his lists is impressive and makes me jealous that I didn't start keeping a list much much sooner.

I always meant to keep a list ... I've read ten of the books listed including (not surprisingly) the last one. We're better now ... sorta.

Wow, I've only read 12 of them, tried and failed with a few others. Looks like a good idea, a kind of diary I suppose.

I've maintained lists on and off since college, and regularly since July 2005--it is astonishing how quickly the titles add up.

So, how about letting us in on some favorites??

Would you hate me if I asked you to give your top ten? :)

Do I keep track?

Not only do I have a blog specifically for listing the books I read, but I also built my own web database to catalog them and keep track of what I haven't read and what I want to read.

If you're keeping track anyway, you ought to try GoodReads:

I have read 57 of the books on your list and I am totally wishing that I could remember to write down books when I finish with them. I do Book Crossers, so at least SOME of the things I am reading are written down somewhere...

I never would have thought of keeping track. I may print out yours though, because I've read at least 3/4 of them. Then I'll have a place to start....and some others to track down. Thanks.

You've inspired me to start keeping track. We don't watch TV, so all I do is read. Would love to have a record like this.

I've been keeping track on my blog. I've hardly read any books since the monkey was born! I'm just getting back into it now. LOVING The Other Boleyn Girl, and LOVED Eat Pray Love. I've read more books NOW than I have in a long time. I can't get enough of reading....

That's one impressive list of books you have there! I'm surprised I haven't read most of them!!!

First of all, I misspelled 'miabean' five times, MY GOD, I need to be sedated. How many times have I done this?

Secondly, I'm totally impressed, and inspired to do the same.

Lots of Chuck Palahniuk! I am a huge fan.
I might think of doing this if I had the time to read more for fun than for school.

Three months into the year, and the only book I've read is The Other Boleyn Girl. Sigh.

This list makes me wish I read smarter books. But I like fluff, for now.

First of all- way to go. You've done some fantastic reading!

Second- I am inspired to do this myself.

I'm impressed. I wish I had kept a list, I'm going to start now. I've read about 20 if these. You should recommend ones that you like after reading them.

I even take it one step further and give each book a certain amount of stars depending on how much I liked it. Yeah...big dork. Wasn't 'Sharp Objects' incredible?

You're not going to link to each one? The hell?

I am feeling rather ... stupid right now.

Now, list them all again, but re-order from favorite to least favorite. :)

What a wonderful idea! I TOTALLY just joined (had never even heard of it until just now). You have inspired me!

I second (third, fourth, fifth?) the suggestion of GoodReads to track your reading. Great site.

Now I'm going to jot down a few titles from your list to add to my library list!

That's a very impressive list!!

I've been keeping track for a while, but lately my goal has been one novel a month. I'm way off track for this year so far (work + 2 yo + getting ready to move = zero time for reading!), but am looking forward to a quieter spring and some dedicated page-turning time!

I read through the whole list because I love to read and I always like new recommendations. Right now I have a stack of books I need to get through before I go get new ones. But there were a few on the list that I might check out later.

I have one book recommendation. I didn't see it on the list but that doesn't mean you haven't read it, but, just in case, Lovely Bones by Alice Seabold is a really good book and a quick read.

I used to have book journals when I had a 4 hour commute. I was proud of myself for reading 26 books in 1 year. Now that I don't commute anymore, I am happy if can get 1-2 in a year. Wait, do the Brown Bear, Polar Bear, and Panda Bear books by Eric Carle count? I read them EVERY night.

So which ones do you recommend?

I TOTALLY have a book I keep track of the books I read in. I divide it up by year, then month. At the end of the year I get a total # of books, then I get an average per month, then I get my best month. OCD much? :)

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So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

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I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
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